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Anti-gun group panics over Georgia joining 41 states in allowing airport carry

'The most extreme gun bill in America' would (slightly) help fix this in Georgia
'The most extreme gun bill in America' would (slightly) help fix this in Georgia
Photo © Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

"Americans for Responsible Solutions," the anti-gun group headlined by former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly, is in a tizzy over the fact that the Georgia legislature appears close to passing a bill that would, among other things, legalize the carrying of defensive firearms in the non-"sterile" ("sterile" meaning secured with metal detectors and/or other scanners, and by federal law off limits to armed private citizens) areas of airports in the state. From their "Send us money!" email:

Over 75 million people fly in and out of Hartsfield annually — maybe you’ve been one of them?

As you’re reading this, Georgia members of Americans for Responsible Solutions are sending emails and calls into the offices of elected officials across the state trying to stop this bill.

The email then goes on to breathlessly describe the proposed legislation as "the most extreme gun bill in America" (really--we can't do any better than that?).

Conspicuously absent from the email, and from the "Stop the most extreme gun bill in America" petition, is any mention of the fact that according to, 41 other states already permit the carrying of defensive firearms in airports (in 2010--still looking for more recent information, but would venture to guess that if the number has changed, it has been in the direction of more states permitting armed self-defense in airports--not to mention while traveling to and from them).

And you know what we haven't heard about? Airports being shot up. Oh, wait--there was one recently, after all--in perhaps the most "gun-free" airport in the United States (bold emphasis added):

Airport Carry: From California Code: Sterile area of Airport (From the Application for a Permit from the state of California) Pursuant to U.S. Government Code - Title 49, Chapter 26, Section 1472 (1) and Federal Aviation Regulation 121.583, a license to carry a concealed weapon does not authorize a person to carry a firearm, tear gas, or any dangerous weapon aboard commercial airlines. Note: People have been arrested and guns confiscated for just having them in their vehicle upon driving on LAX property. urges extreme caution and do watch out for signage upon entering any Airport property in California.

What? You mean a guy bent on murder, and willing to die in the commission of that murder, didn't care that it was illegal for him to carry a gun where he did? Who could have guessed?

If the Georgia legislature passes HB 875, (the House already has, by a commanding 119-56 margin) it will not be the first time such legislation has made it to the governor's desk, but when that happened in 2010, then-Governor Sonny Perdue surprised and disappointed gun rights advocates by vetoing the bill.

Before that veto, though, when it looked as if it would become law, Attorney General Eric Holder, prompted by a question from the late, rabidly anti-gun Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), described such a law as "very worrisome," especially because of Al Qaeda's use of aircraft in terrorist attacks. How forbidding guns in airports would affect terrorists' plans was never explained. Video of the foolish exchange between Lautenberg and Holder can be seen here.

Some members of Congress were so outraged about the 2010 bill in Georgia that they introduced federal legislation to ban guns on airport grounds (why the dozens of states already permitting guns in airports did not seem to bother them was one more item left unexplained). One of those Congressmen was, as mentioned, Sen. Lautenberg. In the House, Representative Hank "Tip Over and Capsize" Johnson (D-GA) introduced a similar bill, explaining, "We live in a post-911 world where terrorists continue to look at planes and airports as prime targets. It defies logic that we would we allow anyone other than law enforcement officials to carry a loaded gun within an airport." Yep--the guy who feared that too many Marines on Guam would make the island capsize presumes to tell us what "defies logic."

Giffords' group seems to expect the Georgia Senate to follow in the House's footsteps and pass HB 875, because their efforts to stop it appear to be focused on pressuring Governor Deal and Lieutenant Governor Cagle (both Republicans) into vetoing it. If it does become law despite their efforts, look for them to start pushing Rep. Johnson's current version of the "Airport Security Act," perhaps with the warning that the weight of guns carried into Georgia airports might cause the state to "tip over and capsize."

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